Protecting Sight #78: The transformative power of classical music. Phaco fluidics, iris prolapse, & cicatricial disease. Walden Pond meets The Good Life & David Swensen’s asset allocation.

Welcome to my daily learning journal. My daily goal is to watch one Ted Talk and one cataract surgery. I also plan to read one journal article and read/listen to a book chapter, short story or significant work.

Here’s today’s list:

1. Ted Talk – Benjamin Zander – The transformative power of classical music. “Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it — and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections.” (

Superlatives aside, this is an extraordinary Ted Talk. His Ted profile states, “A leading interpreter of Mahler and Beethoven, Benjamin Zander is known for his charisma and unyielding energy — and for his brilliant pre-concert talks.” I’ve always appreciated classical music and will seek out Zander’s work. His storytelling ability is wonderful. Have a box of tissues handy.

2A. Cataract Surgery – Uday Devgan MD – Setting your Phaco Speed Limit.

2B. Cataract Surgery – Uday Devgan MD – Review: Management of Iris Prolapse.

3. Journal article – Fathy CA, Lally SE, Syed ZA. In the Context of Cicatricial DiseaseJAMA Ophthalmol. Published online August 27, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.1606.

4. Book Chapter – Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau., SparkNotes, and Gutenberg. Chapter 16.

5. (BONUS) – The Good Life – The Investor’s Podcast Network. TGL026: Mastermind: Decision Making in Times of Uncertainty with Jake Taylor, Brent Snow, and Annie Duke.

I met Sean Murray, the podcast host of The Good Life, while standing in line at the Berkshire Hathaway meeting in 2018. The guests on this show have been guests on The Investors Podcast (with Preston Pysh and Stig Brodersen). This is a wonderful episode!

6. (BONUS) David Swensen, The Yale Model, and Asset Allocation (YouTube lecture).

David Swensen, Yale’s Chief Investment Officer, spoke at my 15th reunion in 2008. I remember about 50 people in the audience at the Yale Law School. He spoke about asset allocation for individual investors. He’s given similar talks around the world. In the past, I listened to his talk from a conference in Seoul, South Korea which was posted to YouTube.

This is a superb talk which I recommend to all friends who are looking for investment tips. The link above is from the 2012 Open Yale Courses.

Swensen’s advice is timeless for individual investors. I also found a very good blog post on Swensen’s asset allocation here (

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